Website trends constantly change and developers rush to implement the most recent technologies without fully understanding the implications.  Three areas where trends are sometimes overdone are complex typography, parallax scrolling, and the hamburger menu.  These three items, while very popular with numerous websites, have to be implemented correctly.  A new trend not properly used will distract visitors and cause them to leave your website.

Too many fonts

Current estimates put the number of available font faces at approximately 32 thousand.  Some websites use several different fonts in their design.  Oftentimes, this overuse of fonts creates confusion and results in a cluttered website.  A website suffering from an abundance of fonts also suffers from legibility and readability.  The recommended number of fonts for a website is two.  For those wishing more fonts, I recommend using fonts from the same font families.  The difference between fonts is subtle yet powerful.

Too much scrolling

Parallax scrolling is also very popular.  Parallax uses the technique of scrolling the foreground and background at different speeds to produce the effect of depth.  While the effect permits a website to stand out, the effect is less than optimal on mobile devices due to the heavy use of graphics and JavaScript.  The download speeds of huge graphics files and extra JavaScript results in a website appearing slow.  When considering parallax scrolling for a mobile ready website, ensure that the associated files are optimized for loading on a mobile device.

Too many menu links

The hamburger menu, around since 1982, provides websites with a means of indicating that a menu is available.  Although the hamburger menu provides a method of hiding a typical menu, especially on mobile devices, users who are not familiar with the function will not know how to navigate the website.  Those who do not understand how the hamburger menu works will leave the website in frustration, thinking there is limited content.  Also, although multi-level drop down menus work well on desktops, they don’t always function correctly on smartphones. Multi-level menus that disappear off the screen make website navigation difficult. When considering using the hamburger menu, ensure that critical information is available through other navigational means.

These new trends can provide great effects when correctly implemented.  Website owners looking to incorporate the latest elements should contemplate using these effects.  However, their use must be carefully considered and alternate means provided so that the website is legible, fast, and easily navigated.  These new trends, correctly applied, will provide your visitors with a great user experience.

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